Installing Standing-Seam Copper Roofing

Project: Victorian Restoration, Episode 6, Part 2



Bob joins contractor Charlie Tomaszewski on the third floor of the main house to install an ODL tubular skylight to help brighten what will eventually be an office. Also, Bob takes a look at how the new triangular peak windows from Pella were installed.

Outside, a team from Harraseeket Restoration, Inc. is installing new copper gutters and roofing on the addition connecting the main house and the barn. Finally, painting gets underway on the backside of the main house.
Part 1: Skylight and Gable Window Installation
Part 2: Installing Standing-Seam Copper Roofing
Bob Fulmer (from Harraseeket Restoration, Inc.) joins Bob on the roof of the breezeway to install a double-lock standing seam copper roof. Before installing the copper, a plywood deck is applied, followed by a layer of bituthene for moisture resistance, then a resin paper slip-sheet.

The resin paper helps absorb the condensation generated on the back side of the copper panels by temperature changes. Additionally, it insulates the copper from touching asphalt-based underlayment, or bituthene, on which standing water creates a diluted form of sulphuric acid, which will degrade the copper.

The copper panels are brake-formed at the shop and brought on site ready to install. The panels are joined in a double-lock standing seam in a two-step process. First, the male edge is locked over the top of the female seam. Then, a second seamer completes the second lock, producing a one-inch high profile.

This 16-ounce standing seam copper roof should have a 75-year life expectancy, but proper application is critical. Lack of provisions for thermal expansion, such as permanently attaching the copper to the roof, will create stress in the panel and eventually cause material failure. Also fasteners should be from the copper family or electrolysis will set up.
Part 3: Installing Copper Gutters
Part 4: Exterior Prep and Painting
Located just five miles from downtown Boston, Bob's scouts discovered a Victorian-era house in a neighborhood of family homes on tree-lined streets that was past due for a full-scale renovation.

The home's new owners, a work-at-home family, have set goals to modernize the home's floor plan, update the building's mechanical and electrical systems, and add home office and work spaces for two busy professionals.

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